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David Dawes has three important roles in the ACT Public Service (ACTPS).

David Dawes

Mr Dawes commenced his roles as Chief Executive Officer of the Land Development Agency and Director-General of the Economic Development Directorate in May 2011. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive of the Government's Department of Land and Property Services (created in December 2009) responsible for implementing major government initiatives such as the land release program and aspects of the nationally recognised Affordable Housing Action Plan.

During this time, David also oversaw the ACT Property Group, responsible for managing and preparing long-term plans for office accommodation for ACT public servants. In addition, he led the Strategic Project Facilitation group which facilitated numerous private sector and government and projects including development of the National Arboretum Canberra.

David joined the ACTPS in April 2007 as Deputy Chief Executive, Business and Projects, Chief Minister's Department.

Prior to joining the ACT Public Service he was the Executive Director of the Master Builders Association of the ACT for nine years. In that role he represented the Association with industry, government and business groups including the Canberra Business Council, Local Area Planning and Advisory Committees and was a member of the Occupational Health and Safety Council.

During his time at the Association, he was a founding member of OzHelp – an organisation which has now been launched nationally to prevent youth suicide. He commenced the 'Housing for Life' advisory service in the ACT and built the first 'Housing for Life' display house in conjunction with ACT Housing.

In 2003 he instigated a single demolition package to assist the victims of the bushfires and was the Chairman on the Planning and Infrastructure Task Force and the Community Expert Reference Group which was established following the 2003 Canberra bushfires.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Land Development Agency (LDA)

As Chief Executive Officer of the Land Development Agency, Mr Dawes’ primary responsibility is to facilitate the development and release of Government-owned land for residential, community, commercial and industrial uses. The key objectives of LDA are to:

  • Ensure that an adequate supply of greenfield and brownfield land will be maintained to meet market demand for residential, commercial, industrial and community uses;
  • Contribute to the delivery of the Government's policies and priorities related to affordable housing, sustainability, climate change and urban intensification;
  • Adopt a 'One Government' approach during the land development process through the cultivation and maintenance of productive relationships across the ACT Government;
  • Operate efficiently in the markets in which it operates and provide agreed returns to the Territory on its investment in the Agency;
  • Ensure that key commercial decisions on land in the ACT are made with due consideration to the sustainability of the Territory (that is by balancing economic, social and environmental factors); and
  • Engage the community in a timely manner in the land development process and continue to improve community engagement processes for redevelopments.


In the role of Director-General, David is responsible for:

  • programs, initiatives and policy advice aimed at supporting economic and business development in the Territory;
  • preparation and delivery of the Government’s land release program, including the delivery of a diverse range of capital projects;
  • managing the Government’s tourism marketing and development programs, along with managing the Territory’s major sporting and recreation venues and events; and
  • leading the Government’s sport and recreation programs and policies.